It is the purpose of big defense companies like Lockheed Martin to make a profit, even if that means selling weapons technology to other countries. The one rule is that they are not allowed to sell their most recent projects to any country other than the US. This means there is always work to be done at Lockheed. If there is a demand for one of their products overseas, and the product requested is state of the art top of the line technology, then they need a new and improved version in order to fulfill this request. Between 1992 and 2003 the US reportedly sold $177 billion in weapons to other nations. Nations that include Lybia, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan….which all currently have some form of military conflict. Now we just sold a weapons package to Taiwan. $4.2 billion worth. For those of you gamblers out there, this is essentially a hedging of our bets. China has moved a notable portion of their military to their southern border, and Taiwan wanted protection. The fact that we gave it to them absolutely enrages China, but it is our way of saying that if things turn sour with the US-China relationship, we have allies that are now well armed. We owe China $1.16 trillion, and there are fears that the US will default on that debt, but now at least we can punch our way out. Selling weapons to other countries in general seems like an awful idea, it has certainly turned on us many times in the past, but selling them in this tense climate to our lenders enemy, seems absurd.
This is a Radio Flyer tricycle. It has streamers dangling from the handlebars, and the paint color is a mint condition red. If I had that ride, I would also lock it up with a heavy duty chain…..but I would also be 5, and that chain would be around my total body weight. Strong kid.
When I was little, there were few things I enjoyed more than going to a baseball game. A hot Midwest summer night Kansas City Royals game. My dad hated baseball, but he would occasionally be a sport and take my brother and I out the see the boys in blue. I think he did it primarily for the peanuts. My brother and I would grab our mitts from the wicker “sports basket” by our back door, put on our caps, and giddily jump into the car. Humid summer nights in KC bring back all sorts of memories, but these same nights at the ball park bring back an entirely new set. We would park a half mile away, speed walk our little bodies towards the lights, and beg our dad to hurry up. We didn’t want to miss a foul ball in our section. There would be no stops at concession stands, just a rush to our seats. The first games I went to as a kid were in the mid 1980’s, so naturally short shorts were common attire. Short shorts, humid nights, and plastic baseball seats were never a good combination. The back of my legs would stick to the chair as my feet dangled, trying to find the peanut shell covered ground. I would jump out of the stands at every crack of the bat, my body peeling out of the seat like Velcro. If I had to use the bathroom, I would run. Every vendor that came by I would look at my dad with hope. He would give in to an occasional cotton candy. I watched Brett Saberhagen pitch a no hitter, Bo Jackson throw a ball 500 feet, and George Brett play like an animal.
I will always love baseball, and I will always love the Royals. I have worn my KC hat proudly in every city I have lived in. Many people have asked me if I am a Royals fan with a certain tone in their voice. A tone in which they feel sorry for me and my support of a perennially sub par team. While Kansas City’s record has been horrific, for a long, long time, it has nothing to do with that. Royals baseball even as it is still being played, is a memory. A great memory of childhood, family, and my hometown. It is also a constant. I used to hate Brussels sprouts, baths, reading, sitting still……..things have changed since I was 6. But I have, and will, always love my Royals.